B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Black Press Media)

VIDEO: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen

Random inspections are to ensure businesses follow COVID-19 guidelines, requirements from health officials

WorkSafe BC will focus on random inspections to ensure businesses follow health guidelines and requirements as the province enters Phase Two in its COVID-19 reopening plan.

According to Labour Minister Harry Bains, the work safety organization completed 8,719 inspections from March 22 to April 16 to ensure businesses that were open prior to May long weekend were following protocols ordered by health officials. That’s compared to roughly 4,000 during the same time a year prior.

Since the province initiated its multi-phase reopening plan, businesses from restaurants to gyms to salons have been scurrying to welcoming back customers and clients. WorkSafe BC released a handful of sector-specific guidelines on Friday (May 15).

“This is to make sure businesses have the best safety measures in place and consumers can place their trust when stepping inside of them,” Bains said during a news conference on Thursday (May 21).

Inspectors will be visiting businesses at random to ensure the guidelines, as well as requirements from the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, are being met, Bains added, calling it a “review and inspection regime.”

Employers and business owners with questions can call WorkSafe BC at 1-888-621-7233, he continued.

British Columbians have been eagerly awaiting for social contact restrictions to be eased in order to return to a sliver of normalcy from before the novel coronavirus touched down in the province.

Businesses have been dealt the heavy task of finding a balance between keeping staff and customers safe while also recouping steep financial losses due to the pandemic

Bains said that the province’s website saw 524,000 page views since the guidelines were made public, a 440 per cent increase from previous weeks.

But while these sector-specific guidelines have answered some questions, the information has sparked others.

“The guidelines were never intended as a silver bullet, one size fits all solution,” Bains said. “We expect the same entrepreneurial spirit shown through the epidemic – like the distilleries that pivoted to making sanitizer – to still shine bright as we restart to recover.”

Bains spent much of the Thursday announcement answering inquiries from face mask rules to three-day work weeks.

More to come.

READ MORE: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests again, but what will that look like?

COVID-19: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to reopen parts of society


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four cougars caught on camera near Vernon

A Predator Ridge resident’s doorbell camera caught images of early morning visitors

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

Multiple emergency services assist in rescue of individual near 35th Avenue and 34th Street

Coldstream Town Centre redevelopment to add 84 new child care spots

$5M grant to fund new community centre, child care spaces

Vernon hockey executive close to Cup win

Stacey Roest is the assistant general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Volatile enrolment leads to loss of teaching staff at three North Okanagan-Shuswap schools

Three quarters of students using online learning program expected to return to class

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read